Mona Krewel, Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck, Ansgar Wolsing
The Campaign and its Dynamics at the 2009 German General Election

German Politics, 2011: 20, Heft 1, S. 28-50
ISSN: 0964-4008

This article analyses the 2009 German federal election campaign with specific emphasis on the three categories of actors that play key roles in contemporary election campaigns – parties and their candidates, the mass media, and the voters. Mainly aiming at a theoretically informed comprehensive description, the article addresses some key themes of the recent literature on electioneering. The Bundestag election on 27 September 2009 was preceded by a campaign that lacked drama. There were several reasons for the absence of a more polarised campaign, not least the fact that CDU/CSU and SPD had been tied together in a Grand Coalition and had to deal with massive political challenges. Against the background of an unclear picture painted by the media, the feasibility and likelihood of various types of government coalitions were dominant topics of the campaign. The CDU/CSU in many respects had an edge over the SPD.